Sunday, November 09, 2008

Memoir '44 session - Sainte Mere-Eglise

Today I set up the table again for another battle with my son. We are working our way through the scenarios and today was "Sainte Mere-Eglise". My son saw the Axis tanks in the scenario and was wanting to play with them at first, but when I read through the scenario rules and he realised that there were up to four more Allied units dropped onto the table he changed his mind and opted to go green first.

He dropped in his air troops and all four ended up on the board in the central region. After our last battle where all of my troops were in the middle and I had no middle cards I was getting a bit smug. Of course that did not pan out and he managed very well.

I started out looking over the map. The most significant features for the Axis player are :

1 ) The entrenched troops on the hill are near unassailable.
2 ) You've got tanks! Unfortunately they are buried behind four infantry units.
3 ) You have one isolated unit in Sainte Mere-Eglise. Very isolated.

I decided not to assault the hill and to try and clear my infantry out of the way so that I could get to use the tanks.

I moved my troops on the right, forwards trying to go through Neuville-nu-Plain to assualt/support Sainte Mere-Eglise. Unfortunately for me the Allies moved up and into the hedgerows between me and my goal. So this ended up with the Allied unit on the hill taking long range shots and the my units unable to make much headway due to the blocking forces.

The Axis unit in SME ( Sainte Mere-Eglise ) was taken out, the town was occupied and I never manged to get it back.

Meantime on my left I cleared a hole and got the tanks into action. I tried to keep them at arms length because I was getting three dice attacks while the return fire would be a single die.

My son was well aware of what I was doing and occupied the woods and hedgerows reducing my attacks! I ended up having a bit of a race round these obstacles as I chased an unprotected unit and he sniped out of the woods at me. Twice the tanks were forced into double retreats. Three times he rolled a single tank and eventually I lost my heavy hitters. Fortunately I did manage to use them to take out 1 unit and damage another.

There developed a grinding match of casualties on both sides around the woods on my left and this dinged and donged until this leg ended with 4-3 to my son.

We reset and swapped rolls.

My air drop lost me one unit and placed the other three in the middle region.

In the first few turns I concentrated on getting position rather than attacks. I struggled to disperse the mass of troops in the centre by sending a couple to each wing and trying to get my troops into SME and the Hedgerows.

My son obviously had no cards for his left as for a number of turns they just didn't move at all.

On my left he occupied village of NAP and started moving through the woods towards the middle board. He soon realised that he couldn't hit the hill from NAP but I could hit back from there and I started rolling a single die against him there. He had more success than I did in crossing towards SME. He moved into the open assaulted the Hedgerows and did a lot of damage, then forced a retreat and occupied the hedgerows himself.

I soon occupied two hexes of SME and took out the Axis troops there. I then stacked one unit in each of the three hexes that make up the town.

It was then that my right flank became interesting. The Axis infantry dispersed allowing the Big Rumblers to emerge. I started shooting at them from the nearby woods and hedgerows but didn't have much luck.

The luck I did have came from air support when in a single attack I managed to get four hits acoss two units just south of Fouville. The bullets were otherwise bouncing off the tanks who went wherever they wanted. A couple of my units out in the open suffered from the tracked beasts and then all of sudden it was over. I held SME but the magic 4 medals had been won, and not by me!

A close score of 4-3 to him and basically a 2-0 overall result to my opponent.

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